Sri Lankan presidential election, 2015

7th Sri Lankan presidential election

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Turnout81.52%

 Maithripala- Russia (portrait).jpgMahinda Rajapaksa.jpg
NomineeMaithripala SirisenaMahinda Rajapaksa
PartyNew Democratic FrontUnited People's Freedom Alliance
Popular vote6,217,1625,768,090
Percentage51.28%47.58%

Wahlbezirkskarte Praesidentschaft Sri Lanka 2015.svg
polling divisions won by

– Maithripala Sirisena

– Mahinda Rajapaksa

President before election

Mahinda Rajapaksa
United People's Freedom Alliance

Elected President

Maithripala Sirisena
New Democratic Front

Presidential elections were held in Sri Lanka on 8 January 2015, two years ahead of schedule.[1][2] The incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the United People's Freedom Alliance's candidate, seeking a third term in office.[3][4] The United National Party (UNP)-led opposition coalition chose to field Maithripala Sirisena, the former Minister of Health in Rajapaksa's government and general secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) – the main constituent party of the UPFA – as its common candidate.[5][6]

Sirisena was declared the winner after receiving 51.28% of all votes cast compared to Rajapaksa's 47.58%.[7][8] The result was generally seen as a shock.[9][10][11] When Rajapaksa called the election in November 2014 he had looked certain to win.[12][13][14] On 11 January 2015 the new government announced a special investigation into allegations of an attempted coup by Rajapaksa.[15]

Timeline

2014
  • 20 October: Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella confirmed that the election would be held in January 2015.[16]
  • 5 November: Rajapaksa sought the Supreme Court's opinion on whether he could stand for re-election.[17]
  • 20 November: Rajapaksa issued a proclamation calling for a presidential election at which he would seek re-election.[18]
  • 21 November: Sri Lanka Freedom Party general secretary Maithripala Sirisena defects to the opposition and announces he would run against Mahinda Rajapaksa in the coming election. Election commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announces that nominations would be taken on 8 December 2014 and that the election would be held on 8 January 2015.[19]
  • 8 December: Nominations period opens by the Elections Department on 8 December 2014, all of which were accepted.[20]
  • 23–24 December: Postal voting held begins for two days.[21][22]
2015
  • 8 January: Election day. Polling stations opened at 07:00 (01:30 UTC) and closed at 16:00 (10:30 UTC).[23][24][25][26]
  • 9 January: Rajapaksa concedes defeat ahead of the final result
  • 9 January: Around 8:06 (2:36 UTC) Election commissioner confirmed Maithripala Sirisena as the new elected President.[27]
  • 9 January: Maithripala Sirsena is sworn in as Sri Lanka's sixth executive president, and seventh overall, before Supreme Court judge K. Sripavan in Independence Square, Colombo at 18:20 (12:50 UTC).[28][29]
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